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Old 01-09-2012, 05:12 PM   #12720
Gnarly Adventurer
JBMorse's Avatar
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: NH
Oddometer: 239
New to Transalps; would like a couple of recommendations

Hi! I just bought one of these big bitches this past November and have had little time to enjoy it but am thoroughly impressed! I would like to get some useful accessories for it and thought this ridiculous thread of 800 pages would be the best place to ask about them.
Here's a quick bit of background:I am mostly into old Hondas, I have a couple of CB500/550 projects in the works. I live in the country and was thinking about getting something like a DR350SE as a sort of backup/extra/backroad bike. That way if I am still not done rebuilding by riding season I'd have something to ride that would be different in purpose than what I already have. I learned on an old DR125 so I have a particular fondness for Suzuki dual sports. Anyway, my craigslist browsing revealed this old Beast:

It was advertised as a 1989 XL600V so I knew that the person selling it didn't really have a grasp on what it was. It seemed like a good deal so I went and checked it out and was smitten with it. On the face of it the Transalp is so different from what I would have pictured myself owning (my main bike is a 1971 Honda CB500). It's watercooled, faired, from the 80s, has all these extra hoses and wires, is tall and somewhat heavy, etc. But it's really a neat bike and I think it will serve many purposes and be lots of fun!
I've put around 100 miles on it so far (hey it's been cold around here!) and it seems like a great bike. It runs like a top, has a great sounding Supertrapp muffler, and is fun to ride. It's amazing on the dirt roads (duh) but also really great on pavement and has plenty of power. The idiotic blackout job unfortunately included the rear turn signals. I don't think the guy who owned it before me ever had a state inspection I think he just registered it and drove it! You can see in the second picture how somebody removed the rear rack and cut the goddamn back fender mostly off.
First order of business will be to make a nice plate mount, replace the turn signal lenses and give the bike a tuneup. I've also got a little fairing repairing to do. A couple of the threaded inserts in the windshield part are broken and there are a few broken tabs here and there. I will do a proper JBWeld and fiberglass bondo job where necessary. I do believe I'll leave the bodywork black, though. I like the idea of not worrying about scratches from riding in the woods or tipping over!

Anyway, my goal is to outfit this bike with the necessary accessories for local (for now) adventure tours. That means I would like crash bars, a bash guard, a Givi windscreen, Corbin seat and perhaps most importantly, some luggage.
Here are my questions:

-The only crash bars I can find are the Givi ones listed on the Happy Trails website. Happy Trails claims you need "slight modification" to fit the 89-90 model. Does anybody know the deal here? Is it a big deal or not so much?

-I found a Motech bash guard. Are there other options I should look into? Is it worth having? I see that it basically replaces the plastic one that comes with the bike.

-LUGGAGE!! Searching forums hasn't been particularly helpful in this case because it seems some products are no longer available. Happy Trails has a few options using the SU side rack. Is there a current alternative I am not aware of? I like the looks of this rack and the various cases they offer with it, but I'd like to shop around. The aluminum cases are probably best but I am not crazy about spending that kind of money!

-Any feedback on the Corbin seat? The one on my bike is not in great condition and is somewhat uncomfortable. It kind of points me down into the gas tank.

That's about it for now. Realistically I won't be buying all this stuff too soon just because it will collectively cost a lot, but these are the things I would eventually like to have for the bike. Thanks for any advice. I know people have asked these kinds of questions many times but I believe the offerings on the market are changing and I want to make sure I am not missing anything.
Happy motoring
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